Long March 5B rocket, carrying China's Tianhe space station core module
This file photo taken on April 29, 2021 shows a Long March 5B rocket, carrying China's Tianhe space station core module, lifting off from the Wenchang Space Launch Center in southern China's Hainan province. A large segment of the Long March 5B rocket re-entered the Earth's atmosphere and disintegrated over the Indian Ocean, state television reported on May 9, 2021 citing the China Manned Space Engineering Office, following fevered speculation over where the 18-tonne object would come down. Image Credit: AFP

Wenchang: China on Monday launched space lab module Mengtian, taking the construction of the country's space station Tiangong into final stage, Xinhua News Agency reported.

The Mengtian module, flying to join the two-module combination already about 400 kilometres above Earth, is the last "building block" that allows Tiangong to form a T-shaped structure, the planned layout at the space station's completion.

The new combination is projected to take shape after a succession of elaborately maneuvered tasks including the docking and the subsequent in-orbit transposition.

The Long March-5B Y4 carrier rocket carrying Mengtian blasted off from the Wenchang Spacecraft Launch Site on the coast of the southern island province of Hainan at 3:37 pm (Beijing Time), according to the China Manned Space Agency (CMSA).

About eight minutes later, Mengtian separated from the rocket and entered its preset orbit. The CMSA declared the launch a complete success.

This is the 25th flight mission since the country's manned space programme was approved and initiated in 1992.

The building of Tiangong into a national space laboratory with three modules marks a milestone in China's three-decade effort to advance its manned space programme.